Saturday, August 7, 2010

Zack's Gen Con Liveblog, Day 3


Home now for the night--back tomorrow! I hope to get a few more shots tomorrow, but I probably won't have time for more than a short update or two.

Before I forget, for those who asked, no, Goodman Games is not at Gen Con. Rumor has it they're on fumes, but the official reason from Goodman is scheduling conflicts. That's probably more likely, though either way quite a few folks have asked about them.

I got to meet my online buddies Koltar and Gamedaddy today, and also saw folks like Micah from Obsidian Portal, Martin from Gnome Stew, ChattyDM, NewbieDM, David from Purple Pawn, and many more folks I normally only see online. The Media Meet n' Greet was pretty great.

I've asked for suggestions for my usual Best In Show award, but I can't come up with anything yet. Lots of good products, some great products, but nothing that rules the show. I guess I could take Fantasy Flight as a whole, but that seems like cheating.

WEGS is there as well. I'm sorry that I haven't been able to chat with them, but they've been busy every time I've come by:

Costumes from yesterday:

I don't think Arc Dream could have fit anything else onto their booth space:

Fat Dragon's Ultimate DM Screen is like 10 times more impressive in person. FD's Tom Tullis was super-psyched because Felicia Day had frequented the booth on Friday:



Troll Lord Games got a last-minute booth. Sorry about the blurriness. That's Towers of Adventure for $10 ea.

Next year, I would like the anime kids and related cosplayers relegated to a location far away from the normal area of the show. Like the Mariana Trench.

"Would that the anime cosplayers had but one neck!" -Caligula

Man, they are super-irritating.

Goodnight, Gen Con!


The 2010 GM's Jam was a huge success! Thanks to Phil, Josh, Jeff, Mark, and an incredibly participative audience! I can't wait for 2011! I hope we have video of the event next week.

Rogue Games only has 3 copies of Shadow, Sword, & Spell left! I am pleased that I will have people to play this with.

Yes, Deathwatch is out, and I have seen a ton of people with it. They have torn up this convention. If they haven't sold out, it's close. They brought 700 copies, I think.

Interactive Gaming Table at Geek Chic. I watched the demo, but I think they may still have a ways to go while working on this one. It's still a prototype.

The Requisite Sword Booth:

The D&D Room, c. 1800 tonight:

The Worst Job At Gen Con, Outside of the Bathrooms:


(Dance Magic Dance)

APE Games, right at closing times. Go Duck Go! and Order of the Stick:

Oh, and by request, Hero Games!

Still no "hit of the show". There's no single overwhelming product. Fantasy Flight as a whole seems killer, but I can't point to just one thing.

The Media Meet n' Greet is at 8 tonight, where I plan to personally accost all the people who got a press pass, then did nothing but play games for 4 days. Not really. I will probably just say hi.

OK, so just ran my Microlite74 game. It was great fun, with a little trophy cup full of dice for the person to escape with the most loot. I have my GM's Jam Seminar in just a bit, but I have time to post a few pics. I will have a little time tonight to do some more:

My Microlite74 group, preparing to play, and the view behind the screen:

The parade of costumes going into the costume contest. There are a lot of people who love this and do nothing else for a good quarter of the day. I don't:

Scrying Eye Games has an awesome map display:

Government scientists are working furiously on creating as-to-yet-undiscovered levels of snark so that I may comment on this:

They are so "edgy" it's adorable.

More later!

11:20: In a seminar (Hexographer), but wanted to share a few photos with you.

Interaction Point Games is a small booth, but they have a setting for Pathfinder that looks really amazing. It's an alt-1415 world with Greek god analogues called Kingdoms of Legend. It should be through distro soon, but you gotta check it out for the map alone. Nice, low price point (~$12) on most products, too:

I got to see Jeremy Keller, author of Chronica Feudalis, one of my favorite (and more unique) recent RPGs, at the IPR booth. He won an ENnie's Judge's choice award. Good for him!:

More old school at the IPR booth. Raggi is here in spirit:

Today is the costume contest:

Saturday at Gen Con is always crazy busy:

The Hexographer seminar I'm in now is pretty awesome. What an easy, great mapping program:


Day 3:

Will post up pics for you soon, but how's this for a Gen Con Exclusive?

The past several years have seen growth in consumer acceptance of PDFs and eBooks. With an eye on using this to drive customers to their friendly local game stores, a coalition of publishers have formed Bits and Mortar, a pro-retailer, pro-brick-and-mortar, pro-PDF, pro-eBook initiative.

Bits and Mortar uses simple methods and existing technology to allow retailers the ability to quickly and easily offer their customers PDF versions of the physical games they purchase in store at no additional charge.

The Bits and Mortar publisher coalition includes Arc Dream Publishing, Cellar Games, Cubicle 7, Evil Hat Productions, Pelgrane Press and Rogue Games.

“We love real, physical brick and mortar game stores, and we want to see them survive — and thrive — even as the digital content options for gaming become more prevalent,” said Fred Hicks of Evil Hat Productions.

Today’s game-buying customers want the best of both worlds: the portability of an e-book, and the lasting durability of one made out of paper, glue, and ink. They want to be able to support their favorite local game stores, and they want to be able to support their favorite publishers,” Hicks said. “The Bits and Mortar initiative is all about making sure they don’t have to choose one or the other. We want them to choose both, every time.”

More to come on that...


Nate said...

Makes complete sense to me. I don't like PDFs personally but know others do, and since I saw a post from Green Ronin where they were contemplating this it would make sense for others to do it as well.

OlmanFeelyus said...

Very interesting. Building on the good work Evil Hat has already done in their relationships with retailers.

Orion said...

This is great! I would definitely shop at my local gaming store more if they could give offer me a PDF with my physical book purchase.

Zachary The First said...

Yeah, I think it's pretty damn smart.

OlmanFeelyus said...

Okay, now things are getting interesting!

1) That setting for Pathfinder does look nice, but it worries me. Is Pathfinder going to become the next D20!? Still kudos to Interaction Games for putting out a neat niche product like that with such nice looking material at such a good price. I do like the direction they are going in, alternative campaign settings.

2) Jeremy Keller looks pretty happy! That picture makes me realize how big red was as a cover choice this year.

3) Whoah! That Hexographer looks really sweet! And on the Mac, too. Have I never heard of it before or have I and just discounted it? Is it done in Java? If there is one thing we need, it is an easy to use but versatile mapmaking program.

Aaron said...

The Bits and Mortar alliance sounds pretty great. I wonder if it will apply retroactively — I would love to get me some PDFs of the Doctor Who RPG.

Speaking of which, when you stopped by Cubicle 7, did they say anything about when the additional supplements to DWAITAS are coming out? I know they've released Aliens and Creatures on PDF but at $25, I would rather wait for the physical copy.

Zachary The First said...


1) Good question: Personally, I don't think it'll get that big as d20. It'll be a mini-explosion. :)

2) Yeah, that was neat. I really like Chronica Feudalis.

3) I've mentioned it before--it is on Java. In fact, his presentation was on a Mac! It's the easiest mapping program I've ever used.

@Aaron: I haven't asked. Let me see if I can track someone down. Thanks!

Joe said...

Thanks again for the Hexographer mention Zack! (Olman: There's a free version with 96.7% of the same functionality. Go to to try it. Also, Mac's Java support can be finicky depending on if you're not up to the snow leopard OS. Post on the Hexographer forum linked from the Hexographer site if there is a problem.) Great to finally meet you in person.
Also, Zack I Love the line about the White Wolf booth!

Zachary The First said...

Thanks for answering in greater detail, Joe!

Yeah, some people seem to dig the WW booth, but I've also heard "silly", "senseless", "ridiculous", and "pointless" thrown around quite a bit.

Mondbuchstaben said...

Next year, I would like the anime kids and related cosplayers relegated to a location far away from the normal area of the show. Like the Mariana Trench.

"Would that the anime cosplayers had but one neck!" -Caligula

Man, they are super-irritating.

And then, the largest German RPG convention RPC (acronym for "Role Play Convention") desperately tries to widen its appeal to the anime crowd. They'd love to organise cosplay contests, I hear.

mksiebler said...

Thanks for posting all this stuff! It really makes up for not being there...

Tobias Drewry said...

Hey Thanks for checking out the Locus, our virtual game table.

Just to give you a bit more info, It is running MapTools in the image you have and is, as stated, under development. We're looking to add a few more features, some of which are to be rolled back into Maptools -- such as multitouch support for the software itself.

The table is a full multi-touch setup at 42" 16:10 aspect ratio. It is rear projection and I forgot to turn up the brightness of the projector since I usually run the setup in a darker room.

Feel free to e-mail me with questions or check out my blog (very weak) at